Brown spots are formed on our skin when there is a concentration of color pigment or melanin at a particular spot. This is also called hyper pigmentation. It is usually seen at the raised surfaces of the face like forehead, cheeks and nose. Brown spots are formed due to age, exposure to too much sun or disturbance in hormonal levels, due to menopause. Women mostly get them and as they mar their beauty, they want to get rid of them. A number of options are available. They are –
- The area which has brown spots can be bleached. The chemical in the bleach brakes down the melanin forming the spots and lightens the area. It also reduces the formation of the melanin at the spot reducing hyper pigmentation.
- Creams containing retinol help to fade brown spots over a period of time. They weaken the bond between the cells in the uppermost layer of the skin. This results in these cells being shed at a faster rate. Newer cells rise to the surface more quickly to replace them. The new cells are free from hyper pigmentation so the skin appears more evenly toned.
- Hydroxy acids are mild chemical peeling agents. They work by peeling away the affected upper layer of the skin. Newer skin which is underneath is unaffected by pigmentation. A dermatologist must be consulted to decide if mild or strong peeling agents are required.
- Dermabrasion is a mechanical way of removing brown spots. A rotating wheel is used like sand paper to remove the affected skin. There is pain, redness and scab formation after the treatment. When it heals new healthy skin replaces the hyper pigmented skin.
- Laser can be used to break up melanin present in brown spots. Laser therapy uses the heat energy of a laser to destroy the excess pigment present in the spots. This melanin is then absorbed by the skin and the immune system of the body gets rid of it.
- On the other hand, cryotherapy uses extreme cold to treat hyper pigmentation. Liquid nitrogen is applied to the area to be treated. It destroys the excess melanin in the brown spots as it freezes it. It takes some time to heal and when it does so, an evenly toned skin is visible.
Care should be taken to consult an experienced dermatologist to carry out these procedures. Follow the doctor’s instructions fully as your skin heals.